Penn High School practices for active shooter - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Penn High School practices for active shooter


You may have seen a lot of emergency vehicles near Penn High School earlier today.  Don't worry, there wasn't a "Real" emergency. They were all there for an active shooter training.  Local law enforcement, fire, EMS, and the school were preparing themselves for the worst.

Penn High School Student Patrick O'Malley participated in the training.  "I was an arm shot victim I was on the bench, had to duck off and fall on the ground," said O'Malley.  His sister also helped.  "I was on the stairs and the shooter came in and he got me in the head," said Bailey O'Malley.

Luckily these stories and the blood on siblings Patrick and Bailey O'Malley are fake.  But the training session still felt pretty real.  There were the sounds of gunshots, screams, and fake blood.  "We need to have this as real as it can possibly be," said Matt Blank with St. Joseph County Police.

Hundreds of people participated in the event that simulated a shooter coming into the high school.
Including local police, fire and EMS.  Blank said, "you can train you can practice but sometimes you actually have to put those things into action...that's what we're doing here today, we're testing ourselves. "

Superintendent Jerry Thacker said this training session has been in the works for months.  "Because of some of the tragic situations that occur in the U.S. we want to make sure that we're well prepared in the event we did have a crisis like an active shooter. "  And for good reason, to make sure they can protect the students.  "The most precious part of the community is really the children," said Thacker.

Students agree, in this day and age it's a scenario that needs to be practiced.  "I think it's a great idea, it's just like how we do fire drills here," said Patrick O'Malley.

Everyone just hopes it never becomes more than just a drill.

Honeywell Security Systems was also on hand for the event Saturday.  They were using a 25 camera system to record every angle of the training.  Then all involved could watch it to critique the response.


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